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Puerto Serrano, Spain

Valles J.A.,University of Zaragoza | Ferrer A.,Institute Eptica IO CSIC | Fernandez-Navarro J.M.,Institute Eptica IO CSIC | Berdejo V.,University of Zaragoza | And 4 more authors.
Optical Materials Express | Year: 2011

An Er:Yb co-doped P2O5-La2O5 based glass has been synthesized and used for producing 1.6 cm-long active optical waveguides using a low repetition (1 kHz) rate Ti:Al2O3 fs-laser amplifier. Before processing, the laser energy deposition profile for an elliptically shaped beam was simulated, and the best processing conditions for optimizing the focal volume shape, minimizing non-linear propagation effects, were determined. Under these conditions, a multi-scan writing approach was used to maximize the refractive index change induced and to minimize the transmission losses. After processing, the optical powers propagating inside the waveguide (pump absorption, co- and counter-propagating ASE, low signal gain, ...) were measured for uni- and bi-directional pumping schemes, and the measurements were simulated and fitted using an ad hoc developed model to describe the behavior of laser written waveguides. The measurements provide internal gain figures comparable to the best ones reported in phosphate glasses for low repetition rate writing even with larger insertion losses. The simulations provide access to key parameters of the waveguide characteristics (coupling losses and propagation losses, Yb3+ ⇔ Er3+ energy transfer rates, Er3+ upconversion coefficient), which have been used to model the expected performance of these structures in terms of length and doping level. A moderate increase of the Er3+ and Yb3+ doping level would potentially lead to net gain values up to 9.4 dB for a waveguide length of 25 mm. © 2011 Optical Society of America.

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